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Julia Donaldson makes record £10m sales five years in a row

The author of The Gruffalo earned more than JK Rowling and Dan Brown in UK, making her the fourth biggest-selling writer in British history A dancing chorus of giants and snails, witches and Gruffalos...

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Wendy Cope: I remember getting angry with my sister

The poet recalls childhood memories, from not crying when she was sent to boarding school to feeling dizzy smoking her first cigaretteI remember the first time I read a book by myself. It was The...

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The Saturday poem: Smith

by Michael DonaghyWhat is this fear before the unctuous teller?Why does it seem to take a forgers nerveTo make my signature come naturally?Naturally? But every singatures A trick we learn to do,...

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Collected French Translations: Poetry by John Ashbery review

Visionary lunacy and peculiar choices tell us much about the Pulitzer prize-winning poetIn a 1956 letter to Kenneth Koch, John Ashbery wrote: I hate all modern French poetry, except for Raymond...

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No flowers, no birds - November!

No sun no moon!/ No morn no noon / No dawn no dusk no proper time of day./ No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,/ No comfortable feel in any member / No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no...

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Poem of the week: The service sector by Lee Harwood

A comic portrait of a seaside town is undercut by unease about the economy that shrinks its residents to mere toys for businessA faintly comic spectre haunts the bright postcard-pastoral of this week’s...

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A CH Sisson Reader review – the last English modernist

A collection of suberb essays and poetry edited by Charlie Louth and Patrick McGuinnessComing across memorable opening lines after a gap of many years can be like running into an old friend, and so I...

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How William Blake keeps our eye on The Tyger

No other work of art so urgently tells the truth about nature and our relationship with it as Blake’s poem about a ferocious, precious beast William Blake is about to have an exhibition at Oxford’s...

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Not About Heroes review – engaging account of war poetry in the making

Clwyd Theatre Cymru, MoldStephen MacDonald’s first world war piece dramatises Siegfried Sassoon’s creative impact on Wilfred OwenWho knows what private nightmares were endured at Craiglockhart, the...

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National Book Awards: put your money on the poet

Tonight’s awards could be anybody’s, with the vogue for memoir and essays well represented. But the most vital book comes from an unexpected quarter You could say that the National Book Awards are a...

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Clive Palmer's poetry unearthed and it's, er, well-meaning

Experts peek between the covers of Dreams, Hopes and Reflections, published in 1981 when the tycoon was 26 Quiz: billionaire bards – was it Clive Palmer or Gina Rinehart who wrote it? Clive Palmer has...

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Quiz: mining magnate poetry – Clive Palmer or Gina Rinehart?

Australia's highest-profile mining tycoons have a penchant for poetry, with both releasing books containing some of their (what we assume to be) best works. Take our quiz to see if you can pick who...

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Ursula Le Guin: ‘Wizardry is artistry’

As Ursula Le Guin receives the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters at the National Book Awards, she talks to Hari Kunzru about alternative fictional worlds Ursula K Le Guin’s...

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Black Country by Liz Berry poetry review – ‘love flowed out of me like honey’

A prizewinning debut collection that fizzes with transcendent languageThey say poetry, like charity, begins at home. If her debut book of poems is anything to go by, Liz Berry would surely agree. Along...

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My hero: Geoffrey Chaucer by Lavinia Greenlaw

In Troilus and Criseyde, Chaucer takes risks, breaks laws, invents words and enters the darkI was introduced to Chaucer when I was too young to know that the questions of how to live and how to live...

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An Aviary of Small Birds review – a beautiful, painful, pitch-perfect debut

The stillbirth of Karen McCarthy Woolf’s son is the powerful emotional core of this deft, unsentimental collectionPoetry collections tend to be miscellaneous. They say: all change here, please as one...

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Poem of the week: Canada by Katherine Stansfield

A hymn to the elemental power of the country’s raw landscape, this is also a lonely variety of love poemCanada, from Katherine Stansfield’s lively first collection, Playing House, has some of the...

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Ludwig Wittgenstein and the Tractatus of talkative Geordies | Letter: Joan...

“Geordies like to talk … allow at least 10 minutes just to buy a newspaper,” advises Harry Pearson (The UK’s best city: in praise of Newcastle upon Tyne, theguardian.com, 22 November). Wittgenstein...

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The top 10 books of rural Wales

From Alan Garner to RS Thomas, Bruce Chatwin to Dylan Thomas, the mythic power of place in these works casts a potent spellI’ve chosen these books because they go some way towards delivering a more...

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Raymond Briggs, Judith Kerr and other children’s books stars add to most...

Writers and illustrators annotate first editions of best-loved books in fundraiser for Quentin Blake’s charity the House of IllustrationIn pictures: Authors’ annotations of favourite booksRaymond...

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